As they preach wedding sermons, pastors often use the “three-strand cord” mentioned in Ecclesiastes 4:12. This image deftly illustrates the importance of the relationship husband and wife have with Christ in maintaining a strong marriage relationship with each other.
The image can also illustrate the essential elements of faith development. Each strand in this three-stranded braid is significant. None can be omitted or ignored.
- One of the strands reminds us of trust in Jesus. Any time the children of our church gather, we want them to hear the message that Jesus is their faithful, forever Friend. We want them to be reassured that no matter what they do or no matter what happens, he is there for them. This confident assurance is firmly anchored in the cross and empty tomb. Our Savior died for us and rose again! He forgives all, each, and every one of our sins and helps us in every time of trouble.
- The second strand reminds us of knowledge of truth that sets us free (John 8:32). Parents and those who lead children in all the various faith-nurturing venues in church want the children in our care to grow their knowledge of Bible truths and of the Christian faith. We teach age-appropriate Bible stories, songs, and prayers. We underscore God’s wonderful promises. We encourage older children, teens, and adults, too, to dig ever more deeply into the truths God has revealed, just as Jesus encourages in Luke 6:48. Critics can easily caricature Christianity—if our understanding of that faith has not grown since we were six or sixteen!
- The third strand reminds us of importance of a relational community in helping children make the Christian faith their own. We want them to experience a sense of belonging as they walk into their church home. We want them to experience God’s promises of forgiveness and care lived out and expressed through loving, caring adults in their lives, adults who warmly greet them and make them feel welcome, just as Jesus welcomed the children in his own earthly ministry.
Woven together, these three cords are not easily broken! Blessings to you as you share God’s promises with his children!
Editor’s note: CTA’s resources in the God’s Promises 4 Kids product line create fun ways to remind children of Christ’s promises as you weave together strong strands of faith. Share one or more of these promises each time you communicate with children and their families.
© 2013 CTA, Inc.